4 Sonnets for Aragorn

Keeping Watch in the Night
(Based on William Shakespeare’s Sonnet LXI )


What it my will, this image should keep open
My heavy eyelids to the weary night?
In quiet, lest their slumbers should be broken,
What shadows like blackness do mock my sight?
What is this spirit that pursue'st one small,
So far from his home to my hands to keep,
To find out hidden burdens, lands over all,
The scope and tenor of his life to reap?
O, no! Duty, though much, is not so great:
It is my love that keeps mine eye awake:
Mine own true heart that doth my rest defeat,
To play the watchman ever for their sake:
For these watch I, whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,
From me far off, with others all too near.


My Time Comes But Slowly
(Based on Sonnet
CXXXIII)

Beshrew that crown that makes my heart to groan
For that empty throne it gives Gondor and me!
Is't not enough to torture me alone,
But slave to Stewards my sweet'st land must be?
Far from my hands this heavy fate hath taken,
And my next goal this harder fate engrossed:
Of reign, myself, I fear I am forsaken;
A torment thrice three-fold thus to be crossed.
Prison my heart with this steel, flaming, ward,
For then Isildur sets my poor heart bail;
Howe'er I'm kept, let my heart have this guard;
None canst turn then, Lineage is my jail:
And yet I wilt; for I, being giv'n reknown,
Perforce am theirs, and wearer of their crown.

The Throne and the Chair
(Based on Sonnet
CXXXII )


These thrones beheld, and they, as pitying me,
Knowing my heart torments me with disdain,
Have put on black and thus in mourning be,
Looking with empty seats upon my pain.
And truly not the Steward's House of Gondor
Fallen, become the grey ash of the East,
Their waning star that ushers in to ponder,
Gives half that glory to the sober West,
As those two empty seats become my own:
O! let it then as well beseem my heart-
They wait for me, and waiting I have grown,
To suit this city, King in every part.
Then will I swear beauty silver and black,
And my place betake, that no King they lack.


Fulfill Your Oath
(Based on Sonnet
LXXIX )

Whilst I alone could call upon thy aid,
My voice alone could give thee any grace;
For now thy trait'rous numbers are decay'd,
And thy dead lives called to another place.
I grant, by right, thy tortured argument
Deserved the travails of thy mountainous pen;
Yet forth from this my summons, doth repent
Ye rob'd thy Word, and pay'd it back again.
I lend thee virtue, for ye stole that Word
From thy behaviour; honor doth I give,
To bring it back, thy own: I can afford
No praise to thee, but what in thee doth live.
So thank me not for that which I doth say,
Since what you oweth here, thou thyself dost pay.



- Primula